Classic American Motors are famous for a lot of things – but fuel economy is obviously not one of them. They were about making, style and presence people pay attention. They were built when the World thought that it had an endless supply of cheap gas and the well would not run dry.
Unfortunately car makers today have to take a new set of considerations into . . . consideration. Not all classic cars are 8 mpg guzzlers,. That may be anyway, the thing. There are simply a few which are capable of 20 mpg at a minimum so if you yearn for the traditional days when cars had individuality and character but must take fuel economy into account – read on.
Here are a few examples.
Plymouth Duster – 1976 – aka The Feather Duster – it was a pretty interesting yet largely ignored solution to the fuel crisis from the 1970’s. It cost only slightly more in comparison to the normal Duster unlike the premiums put on many hybrid or diesel options available in today’s market. The main saving was in substituting some of the steel for lighter aluminum which meant a considerable weight loss. The fuel economy is good, up to 36 mpg. Incidentally, in 1976 you’d pay around $.57 per gallon for gas.
Crosley Hotshot – 1950 – this was the first sports car to hit the roads following the war and was definitely built more in the mold of an MG Midget than it was a Corvette. This tiny motor had a tiny four cylinder engine and although it wouldn’t break any speed limits was able to 48 mpg. Gas in 1950 was around $.27 per gallon.
Corvair Monza 1961 – this air cooled classic might not have been that “cool” way back in its day but it was still fun to drive and could achieve around 24 mpg. The price of gas in 1961 was around $.31 for a gallon.
International Harvester Scout 1961 – this is one of the original SUV’s and even many of the modern varieties (check them out at san juan capistrano jeep) do not list fuel economy as a strong point. The trailblazer however was extremely lightweight (2,800 pounds) and remarkably simple with a rugged, 4 cylinder engine. When you drove it carefully, and let’s admit it, there wasn’t really some other way you could drive it, this little power house could achieve around 22 mpg.
Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser F-85 – 1967 – there are very few full sized Oldsmobiles around which can get anywhere close to 20 mpg, particularly one which has a gigantic 400 cubic inch V8 motor but this was something great. It was carefully engineered by using a GM Turbo / Hydramatic transmission system with tall ratio in the rear axle giving it the appearance of a fully grown American classic. It was actually capable of 20 mpg – unbelievable but true.
So, who said all American classic cars are gas guzzlers? Well, they’re wrong aren’t they?
If you want to experience great fuel economy without going to all of the trouble of finding one of those American classic motors they’ve got some fabulous ones at OC Auto. These days we’re talking of great importance and better fuel consumption numbers than 20 mpg together with the latest variety of hybrid and diesel motors.
We now understand that we have to take better care of gas supplies which are running out at a rate of knots and find alternative ways of powering our vehicles. We’ve also woken as much as the fact that good fuel economy is great for your budget balance too.